Home Sweet Home

It’s official. We moved! Joe and I joke that our next move will be to the grave, but I’m not so sure it’s a joke anymore.  The past few days have been hectic, chaotic, and filled with numerous slices of pizza and wine just to keep us going. But it feels good, so good, to finally be in what we are hoping will be our forever home.

Our first night in the house was perfect. After the movers finally left and the kids were fast asleep, Joe and I toasted to finally finishing the marathon of putting our house on the market, going under contract, packing up our entire house, moving out, closing on our house, closing on another house, and moving into the new house. Well, somewhat finished. Boxes are littered throughout the entire house and we’re still hemorrhaging money on various house-related expenses but that’s besides the first world problem point. We are home! We sipped wine in coffee mugs since all of our glasses were encased in layers of bubble wrap and thrown into vague boxes marked “KITCHEN/FRAGILE”, which felt like an appropriate way to toast to a new house.

It felt surreal to final sit in the house. In all honestly, this whole process has left little time to reflect so please indulge me while I do so now, after the fact. We lived in our last home for six years. It was a house that we never thought we could fill, and yet, there we were busting at the seams with so much love, energy, and crap (mostly crap) that it was time to move on up. Joe originally wanted to look at towns other than our current one. Towns where we could get more space and house for our money. I was insistent that we stay in our current town. A decision that did not make for an easy house hunt, but I stood strong. There is some invaluable about being in a town you and your kids love with people that you love. No amount of square footage or marble countertops can make up for that.

The thing is, I finally feel at home in our town, which wasn’t always the case.

The picture below represents my oldest and dearest friends (and sister!) Friends that knew me before I had kids. Friends that saw me drink my first beer, cry over jerks I encountered through the perilous dating journey of my single days. Heck, some of these people even knew me back in elementary school when I was rocking a she-mullet and my bestie was a pet snake named, Jackie. Despite those two things, they still decided to be my friends.

I love these ladies and feel so incredibly lucky that life put each one of them in my path. I text with them, I phone date with them, and I relish any and all time we get to spend together face to face. These will always and forever be my people. People that have seen me transition from single lady, to wife, and finally to mother, laughing and crying with me along the way. They are my far away loves. My on-going long distance relationships. Long distance because I met this guy (pictured below in the awesome tracksuit), moved to NYC, and bought a house in the suburbs of New Jersey.

Was our 2009 “Jersey Shore” Halloween costume prophetic? It sure seems like it.

It was lonely in the ‘burbs. We were kid-less and all of our closest friends were dispersed across the country. I knew that eventually I would have to use my kids as leverage to meet other people but we had AJR and then nothing happened. The mom friends that I thought would start throwing themselves at me were nowhere to be found.

Years and one Olivia later, I emerged from the house and luckily found a group of women that transformed this small NJ town into home.  Now, we have our pizza place, our Chinese place, our parks, our go-to stores. And we have our people. My mom friends have become my family away from home. Their kids have become AJR’s best friends. They are my breath of sanity on a chaotic day when I literally don’t think I can mom anymore. The laughter on a kid-less night out. A group I so desperately needed in order to get through this next phase of life since my other friends are scattered in four states that sadly are not New Jersey.  This is why I dug my heels in and insisted that we stay in this little town. I am tired of saying goodbyes. At 33 and with two kids, I didn’t want to have to start over on the friend dating scene. My heart already breaks enough for the friends that aren’t close enough by for regular play dates and nights out. I couldn’t do it again.

Moms need their village. Motherhood is not something meant to be endured alone.  I love my texts and phone dates with my far away girlfriends/sister, and believe me, there are many many times that these have been my saving grace. We have a closeness that can never be replaced and whenever we’re together, it’s like no time has passed. But I still need that physical connection with people. People that I can text and say I’m heading to the park and they’ll meet me there so our kids can play and we can have some much needed adult interaction. Ladies that you can lounge around with in yoga pants once the kids are asleep and talk for hours on end about nothing. About everything.

I am beyond excited for this house and the opportunity to make it into our forever home. From the moment we set foot inside I was picturing where I would put the Christmas tree and could hear the kids running down the stairs in matching jammies to see if Santa came. I am thrilled that we live in a town with great schools that will provide the kids with an amazing education.  I love that my kids will get to grow up with the little buddies they’re already forming friendships with. My happiness for all these things is also interwoven with the fact that I have found my friends. My lifelines. The women that I will stand arm-in-arm with on kindergarten drop-off as we send our babies off to become big kids. The women I’ll share a glass of wine with as we navigate the teenage years. Or the toddler years. Or just really all the years.

So here’s new beginnings in the same old town, with the same old friends!

This pic is missing two lovely ladies from the “mom squad,” but it remains one of my favorites and an example of how much they carry me. Both literally and figuratively.

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